George and Abe
When I was in elementary school, Abe Lincoln and George Washington’s birthdays were
a big deal. We sometimes cut out silhouettes of their profiles, and there always were stories
about their accomplishments and importance to our nation.
This past week we celebrated Presidents’ Day, a day when we pause to reflect on our
history and the dedicated leaders who have kept us moving forward through these 245 years.
And what does Presidents’ Day have to do with community foundations, you ask?
Presidents are elected to lead our country – to analyze, challenge, inspire, and bring
people together. They celebrate the best this country has to offer to its citizens and the rest of the world and seek solutions for issues that hurt or divide. They are committed to the well-being of our country.
Presidents leave legacies – some more notable than others, most certainly, but each is a
part of our collective history. Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy. Legacies of
intelligence, creativity, inspiration, and perseverance. Ultimate legacies of giving, by the very
fact that they were willing to commit themselves to such monumental tasks and expectations.
Particularly in recent years, we have witnessed some former presidents actively leading
philanthropic initiatives that are impacting lives much differently than when they were in office, but in very significant ways. Think of Jimmy Carter’s hands-on commitment to Habitat for Humanity and Bill Clinton’s worldwide efforts to increase charitable giving and its impact. Think of George Bush and Bill Clinton joining forces to establish a charitable fund to support relief and rebuilding efforts in Haiti, asking all Americans to support their geographic neighbor with donations to the fund.
Our most outstanding presidents have led by example and provided opportunities for
other people to use the best of their talents and resources.
Community foundations, as well, offer a place for people to invest their talents and
resources for the greater good. To envision. To lead. To create and support legacies that
I’m writing this article on February 22, George Washington’s birthday. Though
Presidents’ Day has passed, every day is a time to reflect on our country’s rich history and the
dedicated presidents who have brought us to this time and place. It’s a time to consider our own legacies. What passions ignite your energy and imagination? How might you use those to strengthen your community – here in White County, or around the world? Your Community Foundation of White County can help you turn those dreams and passions into reality – into a living legacy of your own.
For more information, contact Director Leslie Goss at 574-583-6911.